Getting an editor's attention

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseEditors pride themselves on keeping current with the latest developments in their field. Indeed, being current is a central aspect of their jobs and practically inescapable, considering the mountains of information delivered to their desktops and laptops. Since they take this responsibility very seriously, most editors read — or at least scan — each release that comes in.

The big read usually begins as an accompaniment to the morning cup of coffee. Editors will read the release's headline, perhaps scan a paragraph or two, and decide whether the piece works for their publications.

Not every news release will contain earth-shattering news. In fact, many will be written mainly to keep the organization's name in front of the editors. Nonetheless there will be times when an item will be particularly newsworthy, timely, or significant to at least one editor. That is the time to pick up the phone and bring the item to their attention. Editors are sensitive to significant announcements and do not want to miss them any more than you want them missed, so calling is appropriate on these occasions. However, there are a few warnings.

First, remember never to call during the editor's deadline time of the day, week, or month. Note these periods in your contact database. Secondly, use the phone strategically. Do not phone too often or for trivial news. If you will be making several important announcements within a short period, let the editor know you will be doing this instead of calling separately about each item. Only pick up the phone when the information is ready to be released, and you are prepared to answer questions. Finally, remember that any phone call should be brief and to the point, with additional information sent by e-mail or whatever format the editor has stipulated.

Using the telephone intelligently and to maximum effect will demonstrate your public relations savvy and professionalism. This, in turn, will increase your organization's credibility, increasing the likelihood that your news will be picked up.

Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, and Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.


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